Monday, February 23, 2009

Aimless Reading: The B's, Part 42.1 (Daniel Bouchard)

Bouchard, Daniel
Some Mountains Removed

Received by mail with Diminutive Revolutions earlier in the week, I haven't yet had a chance to read this title from Mr. Bouchard.

However, a note on the use of "Some" in poetry titles might be in order. A few posts back, I was a little harsh on William Bronk for his title, "Some Words," which I still think is a horrendous title because it lacks specificity. The infamous literary outlaw Richard Deming, in the comment box for that post, answered my rhetorical question (Can you think of a worse title than Some Words?) with a rhetorical question of his own: What about "Some Trees?"

Well, I said, the poems at least make up for that title, IF you consider it deficient. But the vagueness of "Some Trees" casts its haze around a specific object, "trees," and could also be a cheeky reference to the paper on which the poetry is printed. "Some Words," as I said before, diminishes not only the content of the book, but my interest in even opening that book. I can find "some" words pretty much anywhere, so why should I look at "those" words unless there is something particular about them.

Which brings us to, Some Mountains Removed, which, I think it goes without saying, is an excellent title, and which employs the word "some" with great specificity. I assume this "some" refers to the caption of a photo that has been photoshopped. There's actually a great article by Errol Morris about this on his NY Times blog from a few months back, in which he discusses the photoshopped missiles in a picture of an Iranian missile launch. That blog is one of my faves of the "professional" variety.

And, the excerpt:

The Rest

I have the rest
of my life to be

sorry I do not
do this, do the

other. When I
think of how

time is spent,
think getting,

spending, getting
and in delirious

details the devil's
ministers deliver

time and time
again I have

the rest
of my life

for thank-you
and all

the notes and
I know it.

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